India (MNN) — Imagine trying to travel without reading any signs or packing lunch without knowing if your food is expired. These are daily challenges that face India’s illiterate, and Erik* says Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India is trying to help.
“In India, there are nearly 300 million illiterate adults, so to kind of help offset that and lower that number, we implemented years ago the adult literacy classes,” Erik said. After one year, students go from illiterate to reading at a fifth-grade level. They’ll also pick up basic mathematics and learn about financial management.
“These programs, these classes are really geared to go after the holistic nature of a human being, so not only just the spiritual but also the social and economic side of things,” Erik said. “We’ve seen a lot of the students who’ve attended achieve that fifth-grade level and really change their lives in drastic ways.”
Take Dristi, a woman who had spent her life wishing she could have the chance to get a practical education. To the disdain of her husband and the excitement of her children, at the age of 35, she was given the chance to join an adult literacy class. She quickly rose to the top of the class, and she’s now able to navigate her hometown more easily and read expiration dates to recognize bad food that she would have previously accidentally fed her children.
What’s more, “Through this class and through the teacher not only educating her on how to read and write and save money but presenting the message of Jesus, Dristi along with her children and her husband have all received Jesus,” Erik said.
This is the kind of story that’s typical for Mission India’s program. “Though it may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of the entire population, these classes are not only leading these individuals to Christ; they’re leading their entire families to Christ.”
And every dent counts when only six percent of the population is Christian. That’s why it means so much when believers partner with Mission India to support students for $30 a month. “Thirty bucks might not seem like a lot of money, but that $30 is resulting in a life change that could last forever,” Erik said. “It means total life transformation. It means coming to know Jesus, and it means that someone now has eternity with our Lord and Savior.”
Even if you can’t give, you can pray. Erik asks that you “join with us in that prayer, that not only would these individuals become educated, but that they’d also come to know Jesus and receive Him as their Savior, and through that, their families would be transformed as well.”